This is the transcript of episode 11
Click here to visit the full episode page and listen to the interview.
Hi, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Hired Trainer.com podcast.
This is Episode 11 and in a way it’s a kind of a mini cause for celebration and the reason is we’ve reached 10 episodes.
Now, in comparison to many other podcasts out there which might have 50, 100 or in some cases 300 episodes, it isn’t a big deal.
But to me, it’s a big deal because it confirms that I’m enjoying what I’m doing, sharing my knowledge and having great guests on the show who can help you in your training business.
And I’d like to thank you for your company and your time and your interest in coming to iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or Google Play and downloading the episodes because I can see from the statistics weekly that you are doing that.
So, I’d encourage to stay the course with me as my team and I – that’s Nancy and Sam who’s editing the podcast every week, help you to, I suppose, make more progress with your training business.
So, I’d like to reassure you that I have the intention to record another 10 and another 10 and very soon we’ll be up at 50 episodes and then eventually at 100 episodes and so on.
So, coming back to today’s programme. Who’s on the show? Well, someone I’m having on the show today and I’ve looked forward to having her on the show for a while now, is someone I used to work with.
Her name is Shelley Fishel. She’s an IT trainer based in London and she has her own training business.
I must declare here, for the sake of transparency, that I used to work with Shelley as one of her associate trainers and the last project I worked on was on behalf on a major drinks manufacturer – I won’t mention the name because I’m not supposed to – and that was delivering a particular Microsoft Office course in French and German in Switzerland and in Brussels about two or three years ago.
In fact, I think it’s two years ago now.
So, on today’s episode we’re going to talk through some ideas that Shelley has for her business and hopefully you’ll get something from that.
So thanks again, cue the music.
Hi, and welcome. Hired Trainer is the show for self-employed training consultants around the world, helping you to get hired, to learn more and to earn more, and this is the stuff I say to you every week, so you know this by now.
What do we do on this podcast? Great question!
Each week we invite a different guest on the show to share their learning and development journey and their lessons with you.
We find out what they know and how they’ve learned what they know and how their expertise most importantly can help you in your training business.
And of course, how it can help me in my training business because I’m privileged in so far as I get to have great guests on the show and even though I’m training nearly 18 years at this stage, there’s always information I can learn.
So, without further ado, let’s hand the mic across to Shelley and I hope you enjoy this episode.
Welcome to the programme.
Thank you, Mark.
Lovely to be here.
So you’re based in London, in the UK.
I believe it’s been exceptionally hot this week in London.
It has. It’s been almost unbearable.
I love the heat, but we’re not geared up for it here in the UK, so it’s quite difficult when it gets hot.
But it’s fabulous as well!
Yeah, I think I saw temperatures of 30, 35 degrees on television.
I think it was about 33 yesterday.
Last night was the worst night.
That’s really unusual, isn’t it?
Yeah, totally unheard of.
So let’s talk business then.
You run two businesses from London.
The first is IT Training Surgery.
And the second is Tomorrow’s VA.
Let’s talk about those in just a moment, but first let’s talk for a moment about you.
How did you personally become involved in the training business, Shelley?
Well, when I had finished being a stay at home mum, I stopped working for my kids.
I was at home for about 11 years, out of the work place.
Around about the time that computers were starting to become mainstream.
And I got a job working for a charity in school hours, which was great, and while I was there my job was to organise a sponsored walk, to take a group of people abroad to do a walk to raise money for the charity.
And it was all done on pieces of paper and Post-it Notes.
It was just impossible.
And I’m not very good at adding up using an adding machine or a calculator.
So we started to use a spreadsheet.
We had one computer in the office.
And then I taught myself how to use Microsoft Access because I realised that would be much easier to be able to pull off a list of who’d given what and where they were going and connect everything together
A couple of years when I’d been working there, I went on a Microsoft Word training course at my husband’s office.
He’s an accountant.
It was Word 6, I believe, or something like that.
The lady who was the trainer said to me at the lunch break, “Hmm, Shelley, you could do my job.”
I said, “What? Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just a clerk in a charity.”
She said, “No, no. I bet you could do this job,” which set off the train of thought.
And then a little while later I decided I needed a change and I got hired by a brilliant training company called Happy Computers, which is where I learnt to be a trainer.
I just love working with Microsoft Office.
And did you do any Train the Trainer programmes when you were there?
Yes. Happy Computers was at the forefront of what’s known as Learner Focus training.
It started off as TAP, so we were all TAP accredited.
There was their in house Train the Trainer company and the interview process was very interesting too.
It was a group interview of a whole load of people who were applying.
You had to present a 10 minute training session to the group.
So I remember learning how to do cut, copy and paste and everything in my road knew how to cut, copy and paste by the time I went for this interview!
We had to produce notes for it as well and I did all of that.
I got to the second interview and I still remember jumping up and down in my kitchen when I got that letter saying, “Come back for a second interview.”
I was so happy.
So what do you like so much about training?
I love helping people.
I think that’s what it all boils down to.
Also, when you’re children and you play in the garden or the garage. I was born in Leeds and we used to play out in the garage.
That was where we could play.
I just remember always wanting to be the teacher, playing schools.
But I never wanted to be a classroom teacher and teach kids.
I love teaching adults because – usually – unless they’ve been sent by the organization on pain of death, they really want to be there.
They really want to improve the way that they work and they want to be able to get more done in less time, which is one of the great things about IT training.
And certainly when I started out – which was 1998 – so it’s 20 years this year, which is a number that…
It’s scary, isn’t it?
It’s very scary.
Certainly at that time, 1998, computers were just becoming mainstream in the workplace.
If you wanted to use one, you had to go on a course.
So we were really were helping people get their work done.
And you mentioned something there which I think we should explain.
TAP. I’ve done that as well, which is really the UK Gold Standard in training delivery from the Training Foundation.
Well, that was the first one – Trainer Activity Profile.
Happy went then on to partner with the Learning & Performance Institute, which used to be called the Institute of IT Training, when I first joined it, anyway.
They developed their own Train the Trainer tool, which was called TPMA – which we all went through as well.
Since then I’ve also done my own personal development in the training side of things.
I’ve been on lots of things.
I’ve done Introduction to NLP to understand the way language works in training and I’ve done Stella Collins brilliant Brain Friendly Learning Course which is phenomenal.
It’s a three day event where you learn to make your courses immersive, so that people remember them.
I’ve invested a lot and that’s something I look for in the people that I work with as well – that they’re prepared to invest in themselves.
It’s a two-way street. You really need people who want to be there.
We’ve all run courses where people have to be there because they’ve been told by their boss or by someone in the company.
It’s compliance training or it’s some kind of mandatory training, but you really want people who want to be there because they’re the most fun to work with and they’re the easiest really to train, aren’t they?
Absolutely. Totally, totally.
Then when you see the light bulbs going off.
I still remember one day I ran a one-to-one session and this lady came in and she said, “I collate all these reports from external people about…” whatever it was. It doesn’t matter what it was.
“And they all come in different formats. They don’t work for the organization. They just write papers for us and then I have to collate it all and put it all into the organization’s style.”
I remember teaching her about styles in Microsoft Word and then how to create and apply those styles to any document.
She sat there. We only had an hour and at the end of the hour she was almost in tears.
She said, “This is going to make a job that takes me three hours, take about 20 minutes.”
She said, “I can’t thank you enough.”
I still get goosebumps when I remember that.
It was a seminal moment for me, and that’s what made me decide to call the company The IT Training Surgery, because it was a surgery style of training where it was a series of one-to-ones throughout the day rather than a full on standard one da course.
So that’s what I love about it.
That really is the same thing for me.
When I feel that someone has left the room – it could be a coaching session, it could be a one day training session or a several day training session.
When you see that light bulb, you feel ten feet taller as a trainer.
You feel like you’ve not just helped someone to learn something, but you’ve actually made a difference to their life.
That’s a privilege actually.
You’ve transformed what they’re doing and the way that they do it and they’ll never do it the same way again.
And probably after a week she’ll have forgotten that I taught her to how to do that and she’ll never go back to doing it the way she did before.
That’s brilliant, and that’s all you can ask for really.
So you focus on IT training.
Why Microsoft training in particular?
You’ve obviously – as we’ll come to in a moment – some books you’ve written on Microsoft Office, but what drew you to Microsoft products specifically?
Well, really the luck of the draw, to be quite honest.
That’s what we taught when I first started working at a training company.
The majority was Microsoft Office.
It always was and still is the industry leader in productivity software that is used in business – although there are business that use G-suite, but nowhere near the number that use Microsoft Office.
That’s what I learnt when I worked for a training company, so it made sense for me to continue with that.
I love the product.
I like the innovation that Microsoft is doing.
I like keeping up to date and tinkering around the edges.
I’m also a gadget person. I’ve got one of everything!
It was just natural for me.
There was a time when I did think maybe I’d sneak off and go into the personal skills, soft skills and that side of things, but it never quite happened for me.
I was never in the right place at the right time.
And I’d already invested so much in myself in going down this route that I just decided to stick with it.
I think also, people get that you know what you’re talking about when you know what you’re talking about.
So, to go and do something that I didn’t know what I was talking about necessarily as well, may not have been the right thing for me.
So I decided to stick with Office.
Maybe also your enthusiasm comes across whereas if it was something other than Microsoft Office – not that there are many things out there which stand up to it really.
Hopefully I won’t get into trouble for saying that, but if you’re enthusiastic about Microsoft Office, I think you have to be enthusiastic about what you’re training because it comes across, doesn’t it?
It does, absolutely.
I did go down the G-suite route.
There was one year where I decided I was going to invest in getting G-suite, the Google apps for business.
I got it all set up, got it set up for all my team as well, and we tinkered around with it for a little while and I just really didn’t like it, on a personal level.
I could not get to grips with it at all and I couldn’t see the value in it.
It didn’t do for me what Microsoft Office did.
At the end of that year of subscription, I ditched it.
I’d never left Microsoft Office.
I was looking at G-suite on the side because people are beginning to ask for training in other things.
I looked at some of the other things. I teach Office on Mac as well on PC, on Windows, and I did learn Keynote for example, which is the Mac equivalent of Power Point.
I have taught that, but mainly I teach Microsoft Office on the Mac as opposed to the native Mac programmes.
It’s just where I’m comfortable.
Yeah, and there are other programmes out there, such as Open Office, which is another suite of programmes.
I haven’t used that in a while.
I used to be a Microsoft Certified Trainer, believe it or not.
Years ago, but I gave up the certification.
It was a lot of work to get it, but I can see why many organizations would find value in that.
I’m just curious – what kind of organizations do you like to work with and what do they typically need from your business in terms of Microsoft Office training?
Well, it’s very broad to say I like with anybody, isn’t it, but that is kind of true.
I like to work with reasonable sized organizations, so 50+ at least, although my last big client – the one we worked on together – they had 5000 staff.
We didn’t train all 5000 of them, but we trained quite a chunk of them.
In fact, I’m still working with them remotely, delivering training remotely and sometimes in house.
So I like all sorts.
I seem to have got into accountancy firms, property firms and public sector.
Those seem to be where my clients are.
You know how you track back and you try and work out where a client came from? I do seem to end up with clients in those particular sectors.
I just picked up a new client the other day who’s an accountant; a very small accountancy firm but I’m sure that what I do with them is going to transform the way that they work using Office.
And what do they want from me?
They want me to be a partner with them.
They want me to spot things that can be done better, to talk through.
If it’s a roll out, for example, as in the one that we worked on together, then they need me to listen really well and work out what they need, because it’s not always what they think they need.
I don’t know if you’ve come across that in training.
A client will say, “We need, X,Y, Z,” when they really need A,B.C.
It’s a way of listening to what they’re saying and seeing what the business is doing and working out what they really need, what they’re really saying and then finding a nice way of telling them that that’s not what they need. They really need this.
So really they’re looking for somebody to work with them and listen to them, I think.
So you almost have to be – as the book title goes, a Challenger [The Challenger Sale] when it comes to selling your business.
You need to be able to say to people, “Look, here’s what I’m hearing. Here’s what I’ve observed and I think this is where we should be focusing attention and energy.”
Yeah, I think that’s a good description.
You mentioned that we’ve worked together.
I think for reasons of disclosure, I should explain that.
We worked together previously where you hired me to deliver Microsoft training on behalf of one of your international clients in Belgium, Switzerland and The Netherlands, if I recall.
In terms of looking for people like me, in other words, the people who listen to this programme are invariably independent or freelance trainers, among other people.
What do you typically look for when it comes to hiring an associate, a freelance, an independent trainer, call them what you will?
What kinds of experience, skills and qualities do you look for in such a person?
I’m looking for somebody who is confident, that knows what they’re being asked to deliver or if they don’t know it, have the ability and willingness to learn it.
Certainly for the project that we worked on, I had a couple of people on that project as associates – mainly because it was foreign language, I needed somebody who could deliver training in Czech and somebody who could deliver training in Polish.
There aren’t many IT trainers around with those language sets, but both of these ladies were other types of trainer so they knew how to train and they were both very committed to learning what the course content was, and they delivered it back to me first before we went and delivered to the organization.
Before I let them loose I knew that they could do what they said they could do.
So I’m looking for somebody who’s confident, that knows what they’re doing or can learn it properly, and also has shown that they’ve invested in themselves.
So, for example, you had MCT qualifications even if they’ve lapsed, and also TAP or TPMA or CIPD or something. It shows that you’re taking yourself seriously.
For several years I had the IT Training Surgery accredited by the Learning & Performance Institute.
I’ve let that lapse now.
It’s just a financial consideration. It costs a lot of money to be accredited by any organization.
One of the things was to make sure that the trainers you work with are the right calibre of people and have the same outlook as you, and the same service ethic as well – that they want to do the best for the client.
So on the one hand you’re looking for – I won’t say tangible. There are intangible things, but you’re looking for details such as accreditation.
You’re looking for experience, but then you’re also relying to some extent on some kind of gut feeling.
Do you like the person? Do they sound like they take on board the seriousness of being entrusted with part of your business, for example?
Absolutely. It’s really important.
And the truth is that the majority of associates that I work with, I’ve known for most of the 20 years that I’ve been training.
We’ve all worked at different organizations as associates together and in fact that’s how the business came about.
I went freelance in 2002 and just worked by myself, and one day a couple of the guys who I have as associates, independently came to me when we were in conversation and said, “I was in the pub with so and so last Friday night or whenever, and we were talking and you’re always busy.
So we thought it would be a good idea if you get some work and we do the work.”
Just like that!
Just like that!
“Oh okay. They want me to become a training company then. Oh, alright then, why not?”
So that’s kind of how it came about.
That was where the seed of the idea came, and also I realised that I couldn’t train everything all by myself all the time.
You get a big client in, you need a team.
Even if they’re not employed by you, you need to be able to service the needs of that client.
And I was very clear right from the outset that everything I do is very structured.
We have contracts and I have contracts with associates and with clients, so everybody knows what to expect.
Let’s say someone is going to approach a training company such as yours or any other one.
What would the best advice be for them to make a good job of this?
They don’t just send in an email hoping for some kind of immediate response. Is there a ‘secret sauce’ where someone could make a really good impression and convince you that they’re at least worth some kind of interview or phone call?
That’s a really good question because I haven’t actually had that happen; where somebody has contacted me, and I’ve gone on to work with them.
Anybody who’s ever contacted me by email first and then I always meet them, when I’ve met them it hasn’t worked out, for whatever reason.
The truth is, I’ve had two or three people in the early days that sent me an email and an attachment, and I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning, because when you start out you’re learning as you go along.
I always met them and got them to deliver a mini training to me of something that they liked doing, and for whatever reason those ones didn’t work out.
Certainly where my business is, I don’t have a permanent need.
I recruit when I need rather than just have people on tap.
Right. So someone could approach you anyway.
There may not be an immediate need, but it’s good to have their details in your system should the need arise.
Absolutely, but I would always want to at least speak to them on the phone.
I’d want to know what qualifications they had.
Speaking to them and meeting them is far more important than whatever piece of paper they send.
And how about some kind of audition via Skype? Have you seen people do that?
We haven’t done that as yet.
That’s not quite happened, but in this day and age it wouldn’t surprise me and it would be quite okay.
I’m actually qualified as both a designer and facilitator of Live Online Learning.
So if somebody wanted to present a training session to me, like a ten minute training over Skype or Zoom, that would be fine.
In fact, thinking about that, I actually did that myself for a project I was involved in, in 2011, when I was doing some work for an American training company.
I had to deliver a remote session to the Project Manager and based on that they picked who would be part of the project.
If you’re in another country, it’s going to be really difficult for us to meet so there’s definitely virtual ways of doing it.
It really is the future.
Now that Skype’s a Microsoft product, I think it’s becoming far more mainstream than it was initially.
I’ve been asked on several occasions to present remotely.
It’s not something I would say I’m expert in, but I’m getting better at.
There are other products out there. I think Adobe Connect is something I’ve used as well, and Zoom.
You mentioned that you have a qualification in that.
Just tell the listeners for a moment about that because that’s news to me as well.
What’s the qualification you have and how does that work?
The Learning & Performance Institute has a qualification called COLF.
I’m a Certified Online Learning Facilitator, which means I did an eight-week course.
It’s a session a week over eight weeks – a remote session – where the first part of it is two hours and then there’s loads and loads and loads of homework.
By the end of it you have to present to the rest of the group.
Everybody does a presentation of the way they would deliver a 10 minute session or whatever it is.
I did that three or four years ago now, and then I followed that up by taking the other side of it, which is the Certificate in Design of Live Online Learning.
So learning how to design the content and the experience.
I’m not talking about webinars or presentations because they’re passive for the person who’s attending.
So if I’m delivering how to manage your inbox, remotely, that might be a presentation but a Live online session would have lots of interaction.
You need to build interaction into a live session every three to five minutes or your learners will disappear off and check their email or fall asleep or go and make coffee.
So it’s about making online learning engaging and keeping people’s attention.
The courses are fantastic – not cheap, but very good value.
And that’s based in the UK?
It’s all done remotely, so you can be anywhere.
I would expect, yeah!
They run it over two platforms.
You can choose to do it over WebEx or over Adobe Connect.
I went down the WebEx route, but I deliver using Skype for Business, Zoom, Go to Meeting, Go to Webinar, Go to Training, WebEx, any of those.
They all have pluses and minuses.
They all have different idiosyncrasies, different bits. Some have the ability to raise your hand.
So, for example, you’d want to make sure that you’ve got interaction in the chat.
It’s exhausting running a live session because you’re focused on your delivery, you’re also focused on the people in the room because you’re monitoring the chat and you’re giving them things to do all the time.
So you need to be focused on what they’re responding to.
It’s good fun though!
Yeah, and running a webinar of course is a different beast.
Similar in structure but I find that with webinars you almost need two people, someone on the chat and then someone maybe doing the admin, or rather face to face, I should say, on the camera.
You mentioned the word remote, which cues up nicely my next question which is something you started there recently called Tomorrow’s VA.
That’s your new business venture.
What does Tomorrow’s VA do and who does it serve?
So Tomorrow’s VA is at the moment a website and it has a link to some online training.
It occurred to me just over a year ago that over the last five or six years I’ve been thinking about where is my niche? Who do I work with? Who am I talking to?
And certainly as a trainer and anybody marketing their services knows that when you know who you’re talking to, it’s much easier to talk to them because you’re speaking their language.
And it suddenly occurred to me that in the last five years I’ve spoken at The Office Show a few times. I’ve delivered training for various organizations and my audience appears to have been personal assistants, executive assistants and virtual assistants.
A VA is a ‘Virtual Assistant’.
So I suddenly thought, “Hang on a minute. For the last five years, they’ve been my main audience.
Why don’t I create something just for them?”
That’s how Tomorrow’s VA came about.
Tomorrow’s VA, the name, came from something somebody told me, who runs a training company on how to become a VA.
She said, “The people that sign up for her list are PA’s and they look for about two years before they become a VA.”
So today’s PA is tomorrow’s VA.
The difference between a personal assistant or a virtual assistant is a personal assistant will work in your office with you.
You’ll have premises, you’ll have staff and you’ll have somebody there managing your diary, fielding your email, arranging your meetings, and just taking all the day to day stuff so that you, as the boss, can focus on what you need to focus on as the boss.
And a virtual assistant does that but isn’t necessarily in your office.
They might be miles away, remote.
Very remote in fact.
So that’s where the idea came from.
We did some market research and found that there was a need.
It’s taken me a year – in fact, this week I just released two very basic Excel courses onto the site; real essential Excel skills that if you don’t know that, you can’t really work in Excel.
The courses are short and not very expensive, so people can dip in and they get access to the course for as long as they like.
There’s a very blog that goes alongside that too, which has got quite a lot of information.
That was one thing, I decided to niche down into that area.
And the other is that I’ve been in this job for 20 years and, as you can imagine, I’m coming to the end of my face-to-face training career, going into classrooms and things.
We’re looking to relocate abroad and this business model will allow me to continue training people and helping people, but I can do it from anywhere in the world.
Yeah, that brings to mind a book I read a number of years ago – which is still quite topical actually.
It’s called The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.
For many people, it revolutionised their thinking.
It suddenly made people aware that there are possibilities that the Internet brings you, such that you can work almost from anywhere if you have some kind of business online.
So yeah, I can understand exactly why you’d like to do that.
If you had a vision for where Tomorrow’s VA will be in a few years’ time, what would that look like to you?
I say in my blurb that I want to help 10,000 VAs become better at what they do and my tag line is ‘Get More Done in Less Time’.
‘VA’s’ are predominantly ladies.
There are some gentlemen amongst them, but they are mainly ladies so I’m going to refer VA’s in the female. It’s just easier.
So usually she’s worked as a PA or she might be going back to work after having some time out after children or just changing direction and she’s got a Mac or a Windows computer.
She’s thinking, “How can I earn some money to supplement our income.”
And all of a sudden she thinks, “Well, I’ve got a computer and I can type a letter and I can use my email, so why don’t I become a VA?”
Then they have to learn all the ins and outs. They have to run a business, which is not what I teach, but are there other people who do that.
And then all of a sudden a client will say, “Well, Jill, can you turn this talk into a Power Point presentation for me?”
And Jill says, “Yeah, of course I can,” not knowing the first thing how to do it because she needs the client.
And that’s where I come in.
She can go on to Tomorrow’s VA and find a course about Power Point or Word or Excel.
So I’m building the courses up. There are four or five courses up there at the moment, but by the end of the year there will be many more.
They’re quite time consuming to create because they have to be good.
So in effect you’re creating an online learning platform to teach VAs, either present PAs and likely VAs or current VAs (virtual assistants) how to use Microsoft Office more efficiently.
Is that right?
Yeah, that’s right, how to use it in their jobs.
For example, the current course that I’m starting to develop next week is going to be how to create infographics in Power Point.
A lot of VAs get asked to create their social media imagery for their clients – whether that’s Instagram posts or Pinterest posts or infographics.
Many don’t know that it’s actually quite straightforward, after a little bit of tinkering, to create a template and do that in PowerPoint effectively.
So that’s the next thing on the agenda.
It’s something I know they want because the communities I’m in are asking me, “Can you show us how to do that, please?” because then they don’t have to pay for another piece of software or go online to find an online tool to do it.
So it’s about the things VAs need to be able to do and presenting that to them as a solution.
You’ve written a number of books – you mention those briefly.
Just give me a couple of titles which people could find useful.
Well, I have 10, about to be 11 books around Microsoft Office.
Eleven, because the last one I submitted just last week.
On a site called on BookBoon for Office 2013. I have two books on Excel, one on Outlook and one on Power Point.
For Office 2016 I have two books on Excel, one on Outlook, one on Power Point and one on Word.
Then for Microsoft Project I have a book. I no longer teach that but I wrote a user manual for it, so that’s there too.
And I’ve just submitted a book about One Note 2016, which will be available probably in the next couple of weeks, once they’ve corrected the typos that either I or they made.
Then I have a book in print. I self-published a book called Business Barista – Essential Excel Skills to Streamline Your Business (Bit of a mouthful, really).
That’s available on Amazon and that follows the journey of a coffee shop owner called Matt who wants to set up his brilliant coffee shop called Coffee Island.
It doesn’t follow a traditional user guide format.
It’s not linear; it goes through the problems he encounters and how he solves them.
Just like life, yeah.
So he starts off having to work out how much he needs to set up his business and he has to create the menus, so that’s how I got formatting in.
He writes his menu and he formats it nicely and then he has to work out how much a cup of coffee costs and then how much can he sell it for.
And then which of his coffee sells the best – all of those kind of things.
So that’s available in Amazon.
And how long did that take you to put together?
The Coffee Island book took longer than the One Note books because I wanted to write it with a story.
Unfortunately most of the story got lost because when it came to it, the publisher said, “People just want the how to do what you want to do.”
So we chopped a lot.
There was a romance in it; that got chopped.
No steamy coffee cups.
It probably took a couple of months backwards and forwards.
These are really user guides.
They’re really training user guides so there’s lots of screenshots and explaining why they need it and how to do it.
It probably takes about seven days or so, if I was to absolutely nothing else, to write that and then there’s the editing proves.
The BookBoon books probably take three to four days each to write solidly.
You must be really, really good at Microsoft Office if you can produce a user guide that quickly.
I don’t include anything that I don’t think is necessary.
A lot of these books that you buy – the ‘Bible’ books and the ‘How to Do Everything with Everything’ type books, there’s so much in them.
They’re like doorstops and you can’t find what you want because they’re so big and unwieldy to read.
My user guides are based on the training that we deliver and it’s the tried and tested things that we teach day in, day out, and nothing extra.
The BookBoon books are written to the curriculum of the Microsoft Office specialist.
That was what I wanted it to address, so that’s what they address.
The Excel being that there’s two books – one is for the core and one is the slightly more advanced.
That’s my starting point.
What about the Book Boon books is I have a clause in my publishing contract that I can use them with my clients.
So if you do one of my courses or one of my associates delivering for the IT Training Surgery, that’s the user guide you get.
Nice. Good idea.
Since repetition is the mother of retention, let’s repeat those URLs or websites where people can find out more about you and contact you.
They can find me at ‘theittrainingsurgery’. That’s the corporate client facing website.
They can find me at ‘tomorrowsva’. That’s the online training portal.
And they can find Business Barista on Amazon.
If you just search Shelley Fishel on Amazon, it’s the only book I’ve got there so you’re bound to find it.
And if you search Shelley Fishel on Book Boon – that’s www.bookboon.com you’ll find all my books listed under my name there.
Well, I’m going to include all of those links, needless to say in the show notes to this episode.
Shelley, thank you so much for your time in coming on the programme this morning.
Oh, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
It’s not often you get to talk about yourself, is it, in such detail?
It’s rather nice.